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Newberry College Students Win Multiple Awards in Speech and Theatre Competition

March 23, 2021


NEWBERRY — Continuing a tradition of excellence, Newberry College students brought home impressive awards from the annual South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association State College Festival Competition. The event was hosted virtually on March 20 by the University of South Carolina Lancaster.


Of the 11 competitive events, Newberry College students dominated in four, and brought home four second-place and two third-place finishes. The students prepared under the direction of Pat Gagliano, chair of the Department of Arts and Communications, and Dr. Jodie Peeler, professor of communications.


“The SCSTA Festival Competition was brilliantly organized and facilitated by the USC Lancaster personnel, and we were happy to participate,” said Gagliano.


Individually, Newberry team members placed in the following competitions:


  • Informative Speaking: Denelle Williams, of Johannesburg, South Africa (first), TJ Paul, of Charlotte, North Carolina (second) and Sarah Dougherty, of Newberry (third)

  • Persuasive Speaking: Jayleen Gant, of Poway, California (first) and Caleb Wilkie, of Gaffney (third)

  • Impromptu Speaking: Denelle Williams (second)

  • Television Broadcasting: Timothy Roesler, of Carlisle, Pennsylvania (first) and Jayleen Gant (second)

  • Prose Interpretation: Jayleen Gant (first) and Ashton Porter, of Lexington (second)


Newberry College has participated in the festival annually since 1994, hosing several times and taking home top honors on multiple occasions, most recently in 2020.


Photo: Newberry College speech and theatre students pose with trophies after a successful showing at the South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association State College Festival Competition. Back: Timothy Roesler, TJ Paul, Bryce Sox. Front: Denelle Williams, Ashton Porter, Jayleen Gant. Not pictured: Caleb Wilkie, Sarah Dougherty.

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